In a game of few chances, the Wolves largely matched Dortmund but were undone by two moments of quality, with goals in each half from Raphael Guerreiro and Achraf Hakimi proving the difference. The result ends VfL’s seven-match unbeaten run in the league, but they soon have an opportunity to bounce back with a midweek visit to Bayer 04 Leverkusen on Tuesday 26 May (kick-off 20:30 CEST).
Changes to personnel and system
Head coach Oliver Glasner made three alterations from the side that won 2-1 at Augsburg on Matchday 26. Wout Weghorst was recalled following his suspension, and he was joined up front by last weekend’s match-winner Daniel Ginczek (making his 100th Bundesliga appearance) as Glasner switched to a 4-4-2 formation. Jérôme Roussillon was preferred to Paulo Otavio at left-back in the other change.
One chance, one goal
Glasner called on his players to “keep things tight” and that’s exactly what they did to start with. While Dortmund dominated possession, the Wolves’ pressing and tactical discipline kept the visitors’ star-studded attack at bay. Koen Casteels – who moved clear at the top in the list of appearances by Belgian goalkeepers in the Bundesliga (157) – had little to do inside the opening half-hour.
However, VfL’s resistance was broken in the 32nd minute as the Black and Yellows broke the deadlock with their first real opportunity. Thorgan Hazard’s cut-back from the right was missed by Erling Haaland, but Guerreiro was lurking behind to tap it in from close range.
Hakimi seals it
Having created little in the opening period, the Wolves had a great opportunity to equalise just a couple of minutes into the second half, when Weghorst flicked the ball through to Renato Steffen, who blasted over with only goalkeeper Roman Bürki to beat.
VfL were beginning to enjoy more of the play and Steffen warmed the gloves of Bürki with a volley soon after the hour mark. But in the 78th minute, Dortmund struck on the counter to grab the decisive second goal as substitute Jadon Sancho raced forward and fed Hakimi, who drilled the ball low into the far corner.
Things got worse for the Wolves minutes later when substitute Felix Klaus was shown a straight red card following a VAR review for a late challenge on Manuel Akanji, and from then on Dortmund comfortably saw out the game.
VfL Wolfsburg: Casteels - Mbabu, Pongracic, Brooks, Roussillon (Klaus 64’) - Steffen, Schlager, Arnold, Mehmedi (Victor 85’) – Ginczek (Brekalo 64’), Weghorst
Borussia Dortmund: Bürki - Piszczek, Hummels (Can 46’), Akanji - Hakimi, Dahoud, Delaney (Balerdi 83’), Guerreiro (Schmelzer 83’) – Brandt (Sancho 65’), Hazard (Reyna 79’) - Haaland
Goals: Guerreiro (32’), Hakimi (78’)
Yellow cards: Ginczek, Brooks, Arnold, Schlager / Delaney, Hazard
Red cards: Klaus (82’)
Referee: Daniel Siebert (Berlin)